December 28, 2014 at 5:22 pm #43570
Pop Talk: Intense Encounters I, Young Men and Trans-Women in Music Videos: The Knifes Pass This On, by Luis-Manuel Garcia
by JUSTINDBURTON on FEBRUARY 20, 2012
Pop Talk: Intense Encounters I, Young Men and Trans-Women in Music Videos: The Knifes Pass This On, by Luis-Manuel Garcia
by JUSTINDBURTON on FEBRUARY 20, 2012
Gender-bending, drag, and other modes of queer gender-performance are not especially new to popular music videosand their uses have not always been unambiguously empowering, truth be toldbut far fewer are the videos that dramatize an encounter between seemingly-heterosexual men and trans-women. I use seemingly-heterosexual here because, in the short and usually dialogue-free context of a music video, sexuality is only hazily legible through gestures, postures, styling, and stylizations that reference cultural and genre-specific norms outside the frame of the music video. Similarly, I use trans-women in a more general fashion than I should because, in the three music videos that are linked below, it is not always clear if these characters are meant to represent drag performers, bio-men living as women, male-to-female transsexual women, or gender-queers with a more complex relation to normative gender. In any of these cases, the leading men of these music videos initially read as smoothly (and sometimes forcefully) heterosexual males, while the leading ladies immediately create shimmering disturbances on the surface of normative gender and sexuality.
The man meets (trans)woman trope is shared by music videos for The Knifes Pass This On (2003), The New Pornographers Sing Me Spanish Techno (2005), and Kai Stänickes /Tin [A] DinsCold Star (2010)the last being more a movie short with no dialogue and music-video-like features. All of these videos feature scenes of rising tension, as these two archetypal characters are brought into contact with each other; representing the distant ends of gender normativity, what sorts of attractions and repulsions will result? In all three videos, some sudden shift in direction is put in motion through eye contact: conspiratorial glances, searching looks, smolderingperhaps even menacingstares. Each video nonetheless differs in how it resolves this tension, how each character fares at the end of it all, and which third person or group takes on the role of cultural dupe/antagonist to play against the lead couple. Musically, all of these videos feature music that is far away from the torch songs and club dance remixes that usually accompany drag performances; instead, they offer slow-burning electro-pop and chipper indie rock.
This music video, directed by Johan Renck, begins with a close shot of a hand adjusting an amplifier and using a laptop to start a recording. The hands nails are painted, and its wrist carries a pair of beaded bracelets; and yet, its arm has a wiry, veined musculature to it. Framing this collision of gender-embodiments, long and shiny blond hair hangs just inside the frame. A procession of wider shots from varying angles reveals a blonde drag performer with strikingly angular features swaying gently to her music as she prepares to perform for a small audience.
The small audience before her sits in an uncanny caricature of a Scandinavian football club or cultural club: small, wood paneling everywhere, dark landscape artwork on the walls, a stuffed bird, over-bright fluorescent lighting, minimalist wooden furniture, and tacky table settings. This club, however, is populated by an improbable mix of characters, nearly all of them legiblein the context of a Northern-European settingas stereotypes associated with homophobia and genderphobia: several middle-aged men, with Mediterranean/Middle-Eastern appearances, referencing Europes primary guest-worker immigrant demographics; a few pairs of younger men of varying African and Mediterranean hues and mostly sporting casual or athletic street-wear, representing second-generation immigrant male youths; an older white woman and a man, both of whose attire and grooming index lower class status (read: culturally conservative); a young white woman with dark hair, leaning forward in her chair and staring intently (and note: unblinkingly) at the performance, whose identity does not necessarily index hostility, although her intense glare remains unsettling; and, leaning against a wall, a pair of very young-looking white men, whose appearances reference right-wing thugs (bomber jacket and military-style buzz-cut; white athletic jacket and a shaved head)…December 28, 2014 at 9:47 pm #43571
Today I used a pencil, graphite pencil, big eraser, and ballpoint pen to draw a pair of egrets standing in a mist. I would apologize for the number of posts exploring… It has been good for me, though, and may boil down to coherant questions soon. I am fascinated
Here’s an example of yin-yang?
Differences in male and female jealousy can also be observed. While female jealousy is more likely to be inspired by emotional infidelity, male jealousy is most likely to be brought on by sexual infidelity. A clear majority of approximately 62% to 86% of women reported that they would be more bothered by emotional infidelity and a clear majority of 47% to 60% of men reported that they would be more bothered by sexual infidelity.
Sex differences in humans
Sex differences in humans have been studied in a variety of fields. In humans, biological sex is determined by five factors present at birth: the presence or absence of a Y chromosome, the type of gonads, the sex hormones, the internal reproductive anatomy (such as the uterus in females), and the external genitalia. People with mixed sex factors are intersex. People whose gender identity (their internal sense of their own gender) differs from their biological sex are transgender, transsexual or genderqueer.
A distinction is sometimes made between sex and gender. Sex differences generally refer to traits that are sexually dimorphic. Such differences are hypothesized to be products of the evolutionary process of sexual selection. By contrast, the term gender differences refers to average group differences between males and females that are presumably based on sexually monomorphic (the same between the sexes) biological adaptationsand these group differences are presumed to be due primarily to differential socialization.
In 2005, Janet Shibley Hyde from the University of Wisconsin-Madison introduced the gender similarities hypothesis, which suggests that males and females are similar on most, but not all, psychological variables. The research focused on cognitive variables (for example, reading comprehension, mathematics), communication (for example, talkativeness, facial expressions), social and personality (for example, aggression, sexuality), psychological well-being, and motor behaviors. Using results from a review of 46 meta-analyses, she found that 78% of gender differences were small or close to zero. A few exceptions were some motor behaviors (such as throwing distance) and some aspects of sexuality (such as attitudes about casual sex), which show the largest gender differences. She concludes her article by stating: “It is time to consider the costs of overinflated claims of gender differences. Arguably, they cause harm in numerous realms, including womens opportunities in the workplace, couple conflict and communication, and analyses of self-esteem problems among adolescents.”
Hyde also stated elsewhere that “variations within genders are greater than variations between genders.”December 28, 2014 at 10:11 pm #43573
Note: When they say, “not-one, not-two,” I’m pretty sure they mean male/female.
Olympic Games and the tricky science of telling men from women
Gender tests may be the most controversial obstacle the athletes face. The London Games tries a new approach based on testosterone.
July 30, 2012|By Jon Bardin, Los Angeles Times
Of all the obstacles athletes have had to overcome to compete in the Olympics, perhaps the most controversial has been the gender test.
Originally designed to prevent men from competing in women’s events, it is based on the premise that competitors can be sorted into two categories via established scientific rules. But the biological boundaries of gender aren’t always clear.
Consider the Spanish hurdler Maria Jose Martinez-Patiño. A gender test revealed that she had a Y chromosome, which normally makes a person male. She also had complete androgen insensitivity syndrome, or CAIS, which prevented her body from responding properly to testosterone and caused her to develop as a woman.
The Spanish Athletic Federation got her test results in 1986, just before a major competition that would have set her up for an Olympic run. Though she won the 60-meter hurdles, the federation declared her ineligible for the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul.
Once it’s agreed that men and women should compete separately, how should officials divide them up?
It’s not a rhetorical question. Though most people fall neatly into “male” and “female” categories, some do not. The fact that there are people with physical or genetic traits of both sexes prompted the IOC to rethink its gender test.
The new rules, announced last month, disqualify athletes from women’s events if they have testosterone levels in the normal male range, which is 7 to 30 nanomoles per liter of blood. Because the top range for women is slightly below 3 nanomoles per liter, such levels could give athletes an unfair advantage that officials have a duty to root out, said Dr. Arne Ljungqvist, chairman of IOC’s Medical Commission and a former Olympic high jumper. Athletes with complete androgen insensitivity will be allowed to compete.December 28, 2014 at 10:25 pm #43575
THE NEW YORK TIMES
By ERIC VILAIN
JUNE 18, 2012
Is LeBron James too tall and too fast to play basketball?
In times of extreme political correctness infiltrating almost every societal topic, sport stands out as an oddity. It captures the passion of billions of people around the world, yet it is grotesquely unequal. There are no remedial programs for ungifted athletes.
Yet when it comes to women in sports, everyone frets about equality.
Sports officials are faced with an impossible quandary: a socially imposed sex division in sports (allowing half of the worlds population to have a chance at winning) with no clear objective way to draw a line between male and female.
So what should be done?
Historically, one-size-fits-all biological tests have attempted to define sex, with one biological parameter for systematic gender verification of athletes, from counting the number of X chromosomes to detecting SRY, a Y chromosome gene. All were fraught with the misconception that a single set of sex chromosomes or a single gene systematically leads to one gender.
Let the (genetically unfair) Games begin.
Dr. Eric Vilain is a medical geneticist and the director of the Institute of Society and Genetics at U.C.L.A. He was among the medical experts who advised the International Olympic Committee on its new policies regarding gender testing for elite athletes.December 28, 2014 at 11:28 pm #43577December 28, 2014 at 11:53 pm #43579
How I feel, last night.December 29, 2014 at 12:09 am #43581December 30, 2014 at 8:07 am #43583
Regarding this post, all the subposts of this one, and other posts on these issues . . .
Based on the large volume of posts you’ve made on these topics, it really appears to me that this is a huge source of trauma to you. It seems like you are making a really big deal out of (in my opinion) something that shouldn’t be a big deal at all . . . some kind of obsession (inner Earth imbalance) tied into a huge self-esteem, self-judgment issue.
For heaven’s sake, whatever is bothering you with regard to gender and sex issues, let it go. It’s not a big deal; it’s only a big deal in your mind.
Be happy for who you are–whoever you are–and live your life with no limitations on who you are, regardless of what gender “label” society has given to you. A label does not define you; YOU define you.
I’m saying this as a caring friend . . . let it go.
It really is as simple as recognizing that your own mind has become your own worst enemy, to then simply open your hands and let the dove that you see appear before you from previously closed hands now visible in open hands for the first time ever, to let the dove fly away free and unburden you from the pain you feel.
I know you can.
Don’t carry this pain any longer.
Let it go.
Then smile and feel peace, symbolized by the dove flying free in the sky.
SDecember 30, 2014 at 8:09 am #43585
Wow, you drew this?
SDecember 31, 2014 at 9:13 pm #43587
Please don’t judge either my pain or how deeply that I may need to feel it. Thanks for responding in helpful ways, along this road. Truthfully, I’ve been a mouse wanting to impregnate a tiger not even in heat, to use the words of “Hafiz” channeled by Daniel Ladinsky….
Gender and sex issues, yes. Trauma, yes. But much more than that, too, and I can’t really turn a novel into a poem; these are just trees, and I want to love the forest (my name, from the Gaelic and perhaps the name of my ancestors…)
My favorite posts by you have been “bold statements of truth” which are just my type of thing… I let myself go a bit mad, because lab rats are never as creative as wild ones… And, now, because I am very slow and not so clever, I’m going to pay attention to the fact that today’s song os basically Triangle Walks by Fever Ray, which is becoming something else already.
Thanks for being honest with your observations and intuitions.
“The Land of Adventure: the Hero enters a strange, dreamlike realm, where logic is topsy-turvy and the “rules” are markedly different from the ordinary world. Carl Jung identified the Ordinary Realm with the conscious mind, and the Realm of Adventure with the subconscious mind.
The Belly of the Whale represents a symbolic death for the Hero: the Hero is defeated and killed, his flesh scattered, ready to be reborn and emerge as a new person. If you think the symbolic death ought to come later, don’t worry: The Writer’s Journey omits this step altogether in favor of a Resurrection step just before the end.
Road of Trials: the path out of the Belly of the Whale. Usually the meat of the story; The Writer’s Journey calls it Tests, Allies, Enemies, while Booker goes into detail on different types of tests (deadly terrain, monsters, temptations, deadly opposites, and a journey to the underworld). Stops along the way might include: ”December 31, 2014 at 10:57 pm #43589
It wasn’t any judgment; it was a simple observation based on the fact that the forum is filled up–almost half by your posts–all more or less on the same topic. 🙂
I’m smiling when I’m saying this, so don’t get all worked up, ha ha.
It’s important to have humor in this whole thing.
But in all seriousness:
As far as how you wish to process, that is your choice.
The choice is always yours.
However, I’m going saying something again, very direct.
It’s not meant to get you angry; it’s instead meant to point you to the truth.
Let me tell you another short story.
When my grandmother was still alive, when she started getting quite elderly, she developed a favorite phrase. One that irritated and angered many around her . . .
Whenever anyone in the family would get worked up about something–it didn’t matter what–she would immediately respond (calmly) with “What Difference Does it Make?”. Oh, let me tell you, this pissed off so many family members . . . boy oh boy. I even remember getting angry myself a few times. Now that she is dead, I can still hear her voice to this day, and I have often thought about her words, “What Difference Does it Make?”
I have come to the conclusion that in the twilight years of her life, that actually she was demonstrating that she got really spiritually brilliant, but no one else was actually on her level.
If you ignore the personal emotional reaction one might have . . . and just think about whatever problem that you have . . . and then think “What Difference Does it Make?”, well . . .
“What Difference Does it Make?”
Honestly, “not much”!
It is SO true.
Virtually every “problem” that we face in life is due to us taking hold of some inner issue, spinning it ’round and ’round in our brains, allowing this to create some storyline that we get attached to. When you realize that each person’s problems are unique, you then realize that it must be true that each of these problems are therefore artificial and are generated purely by the mind. This toxic storyline is what continually feeds the negative emotional energy banks in our different organ systems.
A person can process anger (say) forever, and never run out of more to process, because the mind keeps making more. A person can feel a need to go “on a quest” to solve a problem, but the “forest of the mind” is infinitely vast. You will never run out. If that is one’s approach, one will never reach resolution. Because the mind wants to give “importance” to the problem rather giving importance to the solution.
The solution is to:
1. Recognize “ok, I have some trauma and pain around XXX, and it has become an issue for me”
2. Recognize that this problem is generated by the mind.
3. Apply what I’ll call the “grandma principle”: “What difference does it make?”
4. After the immediate anger that arises from this question subsides :), then again examine the mind, and recognize that it is the mind that is creating the problem. Often some storyline that is only a big deal because you make it so, and you believe that what others think is somehow important, when really it is not, and is none-of-their-fucking-business. 🙂
5. Once you recognize this, you need to let–whatever it is that your mind is hooked on–GO. Otherwise, you will be wandering your forest for infinity looking for relief, when relief can not come through this approach.
6. Once the mind stops generating more of the negative emotion, then you need to clear out the emotional energy. Healing Tao tools are very useful for this.
Internal introspection is useful to locate buried issues. This is where Healing Tao tools are also very useful . . . to bring these issues up, confront them, and cultivate self-acceptance. I acknowledge this fully, but once you identify what the issue is, you need to let it go and stop letting the mind spin the stories, which act as a poison to the soul.
Some people, especially people that have traumas, don’t want to “just let it go”, and the suggestion to do so provokes anger. However, usually this is because the trauma has been carried so long, that we have become “identified” to it. It has become part of our identity, and therefore difficult to imagine a life without it. Therefore the suggestion “to let it go” feels offensive; it’s as if the person is asking us to get rid of part of ourselves, and therefore the natural response is “fuck you. this is me you are asking me to discard. fuck you again! you bastard, how dare you!!!”
But that’s just it.
It’s not you; and it never was.
It is only a storyline that has made you miserable.
When you let it go, you realize that it was not you that you were letting go of, but simply the misery. You suddenly feel much lighter, and feel sudden joy as you realize “oh, why did it think that horrible sludge was me!”
This is one of the reasons I’m such a big advocate of doing standing meditation, esp. rooted standing meditation as in Iron Shirt 1. It is the optimal tool for “detaching” yourself from your mind, so you can clearly see that your mind is not you. Then you can let go of issues much easier, because you see clearly how these stories don’t define you and they are not you.
Feel free to ignore this post if it doesn’t resonate with you.
StevenDecember 31, 2014 at 11:43 pm #43591
Another excellent post. It’s not agreement or disagreement that I’d like to share. I’m attempting to make enough sense of life to practice it 24/7, in the way that comes to methat I like best…
Remember, I wanted to know what was in the dungeon that needed the medicine of tobacco… I was willing to do a version of the inner frown, accompanied by a voluminous expression of confusion
Happy New Year!November 18, 2015 at 3:00 pm #43593
The thing is … traumatised people may not comprehend you are saying, because their sense of identity is very much entwined with trauma, memories, emotions and so. They are lost inside and all they know is it hurts and they want to change it.
Like with many internal practices it is actually hard to visualise what is meant to happen inside, step by step. I always think drawings showing these things are good. Otherwise people won’t get it.
They simply don’t understand what it means internally.
And trauma-carrying people find things very confusing.
Truth is it is all a bit of a missed opportunity as trauma-carrying people are very motivated to change but … nobody can get it through.
I think it is a very important point to understand that working on anger (say) again and again and again … is not a good approach. And so many many tools therapies and techniques are in that direction. And it’s a losing approach. That rabbit whole is very deep.
A much bigger vision is needed.
Even if you do manage to “get rid of” XXX … what’s to stop it coming back ? Nothing. So this approach is not going to make you free.
You need to begin with the end in mind.
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